COVID-19 Among Workers in the Seafood Processing Industry: Implications for Prevention Measures — Alaska, March–October 2020
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COVID-19 Among Workers in the Seafood Processing Industry: Implications for Prevention Measures — Alaska, March–October 2020

  • Published Date:

    April 2021

  • Source:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 70(17):622-626
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-108.33 KB]


Details:
  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    Large COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred in high-density workplaces, such as food processing facilities (1). Alaska's seafood processing industry attracts approximately 18,000 out-of-state workers annually (2). Many of the state's seafood processing facilities are located in remote areas with limited health care capacity. On March 23, 2020, the governor of Alaska issued a COVID-19 health mandate (HM10) to address health concerns related to the impending influx of workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic (3). HM10 required employers bringing critical infrastructure (essential) workers into Alaska to submit a Community Workforce Protective Plan.* On May 15, 2020, Appendix 1 was added to the mandate, which outlined specific requirements for seafood processors, to reduce the risk for transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in these high-density workplaces (4). These requirements included measures to prevent introduction of SARS-CoV-2 into the workplace, including testing of incoming workers and a 14-day entry quarantine before workers could enter nonquarantine residences. After 13 COVID-19 outbreaks in Alaska seafood processing facilities and on processing vessels during summer and early fall 2020, State of Alaska personnel and CDC field assignees reviewed the state's seafood processing-associated cases. Requirements were amended in November 2020 to address gaps in COVID-19 prevention. These revised requirements included restricting quarantine groups to ≤10 persons, pretransfer testing, and serial testing (5). Vaccination of this essential workforce is important (6); until high vaccination coverage rates are achieved, other mitigation strategies are needed in this high-risk setting. Updating industry guidance will be important as more information becomes available.
  • Source:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 70(17):622-626
  • Pubmed ID:
    33914728
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC8084125
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